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PRESS ARCHIVE ::: Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore Help "Curious George" Come Alive

 

"Curious George" - The Story: H.A and Margret Rey's classic story of an adventurous monkey comes to life on the big screen in "Curious George," the animated family film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Based on the series of books, "Curious George" the movie is an all-new story of how the inquisitive George met The Man with the Yellow Hat and wound up traveling with him to the big city.

Will Ferrell on Finding the Voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat: “You know, I’ve done a little bit for TV but it was a new experience. You know, there’s pluses and minuses to it. You get to… From one hand you get to create a new character from scratch with your voice. At the same time, I have a lot of respect for voice-over artists who are able to really build a world just with their voice and different emotions and reactions and that sort of thing.

So I kind of saw both ends.”

Drew Barrymore Explains Her “Curious George” Character: “Her name is Maggie and she’s a school teacher who is absolutely smitten by Ted, The Man in the Yellow Hat, played by Will Ferrell. She comes every Thursday with her class for a field trip and he thinks it’s to see the museum, and she really has this wild crush on him. Sort of throughout the movie they get to know each other better and through Curious George who has all these adventures, he sort of strips Will…Ted…of all his uptightness and opens his eyes. He starts to see that this woman, Maggie, really likes him and by the end they have this innocent, old-fashioned romance that’s really sweet.”

Improv and “Curious George:” Ferrell said they didn’t have to stick to the script but instead were allowed to throw out a few lines of their own. “We did tons of little riffs and that sort of thing, which is nice because the process is reversed. They capture your voice and then they draw the cartoon later to the things you’ve said. So you can kind of say anything and they can pick and choose the best parts.”

While improv was encouraged, the film remains true to the tone of the children's books and stays away from any adult humor. Ferrell said that was fine by him and he didn’t find it hard to resist the urge to throw in a line aimed at adults. “I think it’s just your mind is kind of set for what you know the audience is and the material, so it was kind of refreshing to not have to worry about that sort of thing,” explained Ferrell. “That’s what I like about the movie is that it’s very true to the tone of the books and it’s something that’s very safe and you can bring the whole family to, and yet it’s thoroughly entertaining.”

Will Ferrell on the Worldwide Appeal of “Curious George:” “I think because he kind of represents the kid in all of us. It’s human nature to want to explore and be curious. It’s the way we grow. I think that’s the universal appeal of it.”

Ferrell was a fan prior to taking on the role of The Man with the Yellow Hat. “Oh yeah, yeah. I loved these books and I now read them to my son,” said Ferrell. “It’s kind of fun to see it come full circle.”

Will Ferrell Shows the Monkey Some Love: Of course Ferrell’s attached to The Man with the Yellow Hat but asked which of the “Curious George” characters he feels closest to, Ferrell had to go with George. “I obviously have a special connection to The Man in the Yellow Hat because I kind of created it – the voice of it. But you know I love George too. Just kind of how sweet he is and how unabashed he is about wanting to just kind of have fun and investigate things.”

Drew Barrymore Explains Why We Still Love "Curious George:" “I think because the minute you see him, the minute you see that yellow and red it’s so identifiable and so the association is of such warmth and comfort. And I think anything that sort of says curiosity is a good thing and to go out there and explore and get your hands in the paint and put it all over the walls and just play and figure out who you are, is such a positive thing. Also, he’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in the world so it’s like a combo plate (laughing).”

 

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